STOLEN GOAT DEEP WINTER BIB TIGHTS
366g XL Black (as tested) £125 For women and men.
The Deep Winter Bib Tights from Stolen Goat, follow the theme set by the rest pf the Climb & Conquer range. Pairing it up with the Grid Winter Jacket on cold and frosty mornings, has delivered comfortable all-day riding. A great combination for winter cycling, come wind come rain.
Pros: does just what it claims very well.
Cons: check sizing carefully.
Available in both women’s and men’s versions, Stolen Goat’s Deep Winter Bib Tights are designed for days when the temperature drops below 6C – hence the match made in Heaven with their Grid Jacket. They’ll go much lower, too.
Compressive, four-way stretch Tempest Protect fabric (80% polyamide 20% elastane) aims to allow a decent fit for most heights and widths. The straps are described as “generous” and do seem to allow for a wide range of rider heights. There are elasticated toe-stirrups, too, so no silicone grippers – not everyone’s favourites. A fleecy Roubaix lining feels pleasant against the skin.
As with Stolen Goat’s other wares, including the Orkaan Everyday Jersey, the philosophy is that the garment fits the season/day’s weather, absolving you from the need to carry extra-layers or separate waterproofs. Hence these are water-repellent rather than waterproof. Seams are not sealed to enhance breathability. A compromise maybe, but I’ve yet to find sleet or icy-rain infiltrating. Windproof, too.
Contact points are very personal, and few more than chamois pads. Comfortably large and thick enough without entering incontinence proportions, its dimpled designed helps accumulated sweat disperse. As you’d expect it is “anti-bacterial.”
Pixel 100 reflective fabric are to be found on the claves and the lower back. Its common for manufacturers to disguise reflective stuff these days, and Stolen Goat are no exception.
Sizes range from S to XXL. Giving them to a six feet four inch tall mate to try on suggests that there’s no issue with height – very much as the blurb suggests.
The compressive nature of the fabric may cause an issue or two for some. Following the sizing guide, I went for XL. The fit is fine for my fourteen stones and middle-age spread. At first, they felt tight around the thighs and certainly need a bit of persuasion to get them on. Some muscular colleagues have suggested that they’d need to go up a size. However, compression is there to support the muscles and aid the blood flow, as well as keep the tights in place. For me it is not an issue – and my thighs are far from puny (so I am told by a reliable and unbiased source) - but maybe a consideration for some.
Comfort is key on long day rides, and there’s no slipping and sliding as the compression, shoulder straps and stirrups do their bit. Likewise, the chamois pad has done its stuff, with no more than the expected humidity after periods of pushing hard.
On that note, day rides rather than longer tours are Stolen Goat’s forte, but they have not been the source of any nasty niffs in the hostel dorm over a long weekend. Quick-dry is also a Stolen Goat by-word, and after a gentle machine wash they have been ready to go again overnight.
Technically water-repellent, I’ve found them to all intents and purposes waterproof. Wicking is good, provided you keep going. Defence seems equally good against heavy showers and prolonged drizzle. Biblical downpours may be a different matter. Even then, keep on working and drying time on the move is pretty rapid – thirty minutes or so depending on how hefty the dowsing.
Equally comfortable is the stretchy fabric, allowing easy movement, but compressive enough to keep everything in place – with the help of the shoulder straps and stirrups. I’ve not felt the bib cutting in when hunched over the drops. As you’d expect, kidneys are kept nicely toasty.
With wind-chill taking things down to -4C, windproof and warmth credentials seem more than sound, even on long, swift descents. Clearly, you’d expect things to heat up when honking back up. However, wicking works well. The upper suggested limit of 6C is pretty much spot on, too. When things warmed up to 8-10C, things started to feel rather too warm for comfort.
Reflective features, as is usual in my experience of this type, are handy and effective, when every little helps.
Washing-wise, and given the compressive fit, there’s been no shrinkage or fraying. Remnants of close encounters with the chain have disappeared as part of a normal wash.
Bib tights in preference to tights may be a discussion point, as is Stolen Goat’s fundamental formula. However, these are really a very good garment that performs very well in cold, wet, windy weather – winter in the UK. Go a size larger if you want a less tight fit or are likely to require an extra layer.